CIO’s – “Career Is Over”?

Jeremy‘s boss, JP Rangaswami, was mentioned last week on FT.com. The article talked about how CIO’s have changed the nature of their job from running the corporate IT machine, to being competent business strategists and communicators able to translate technology considerations into terms understandable by the top management, a job usually reserved for the CTO.

What is interesting is that the article leads with a point from JP about the role of the CIO disappearing within the next decade, precisely because the need mentioned above for explaining technology to the exec’s won’t exist by that point – the current generation already lives and breathes technology and the gap between the “casual” technologies, such as YouTube, and business technologies, such as CRM systems, is shrinking. Whilst I’m paraphrasing, that’s what I believe he is saying. As you can see from this post, JP sees CIO’s as having a responsibility towards the human element of running a business, not just the technology.

JP’s position is pretty interesting for me as a young, webby technologist working in a large corporation – if in ten years CIO’s are not around any more, who will they have been replaced with? If everyone will already be familiar with and understand technology (holding back the rant to another day…), what will people in my role be doing? Are we going to be community advocates, supporting the human interaction with technology; are we going to be deep technologists, working in the areas that genuinely are out of the reach of the masses; or are we going to be the CIO’s of tomorrow? If what JP says is right, and the Generation Y-ers that end up running the country in ten years are all tech-savvy, maybe it is those of us who take the web seriously now, that will be figuring the answer to that question.

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